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    The Restaurant Review Thread

    Ok – as a few have said it is time to start a restaurant review thread. I think it is best if we follow some sort of template and also if one of the mods would be so kind as to update this first post with links to subsequent reviews. I am suggesting the following template.

    Originally posted by Template

    Restaurant Name:

    Location:

    Website:

    Price Range:
    (from 1 to 5 €€€€€)

    Review:
    Reviews to date

    1.Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin, €€€€€, Gimmeabreak
    2.Pearl Brasserie ,Dublin,€€€,mocata
    3.Peploes, Dublin, €€€, ionapaul
    4.Kitchen Restuarant, Dublin, €€, ionapaul
    5.The Bridge Bar & Grill, Dublin, €€€, ionapaul
    6.l'Ecrivain, Dublin, €€€€, ionapaul
    7.Chapter One, Dublin,,Careca
    8.Moro,London,£££,Raoul Duke III
    9.Bon Appetit,Malahide,€€€€,zuutroy
    10. The Millstone,Dame St,€€€,Dice75
    11. Chapter One – chef’s table, Parnell Square, Dublin 1,€€€€€,BennyHiFi
    12. Bijou, 46/47 Highfield Rd. Rathgar, D6,€€€,Pat Mustard
    13. Juniors & Itsa4, Sandymount,€,HiCloy
    14. FXB's, Pembroke Street,€€€€,Gimmeabreak
    15. Nandos, Swords, €, Raoul Duke III
    16a. Chapter One Dublin - The IPB night at Chef's table €€€€€€€€€€€€€, Raoul Duke III
    16b. Chapter One Dublin - The IPB night at Chef's table €€€€€€€€€€€€€ pics, Gimmeabreak
    17. PJ O' Hares(The Anchor Bar), Carlingford Louth, €€€, Rounders123
    18. Campagne, Kilkenny City, €€€€, Roadsweeper
    19. Bang Restaurant, Merrion Row, €€€€, Dice75
    20. L'Ecrvain, Baggot St, €€€€, Zuutroy
    21. The Residence, Stephens Green, €€€€, Lisa
    22. Ely Wine Bar, Ely Place (Off Merrion Row), €€€, Dice75
    23. Tippenyaki, Rathmines, €€€, Dice75
    24. Kiin Kiin, Copenhagen, €€€€€, Rasher
    25. Downstairs at Gilbert&Wright, Clontarf, €€€, Zuutroy
    26. Arbutus, London, €€€, Ionapaul
    27. Kitchen W8, London, €€€, Ionapaul
    28. Peploes Steak & Wine Bistro, Stephens Green €€€€/€, Roadsweeper
    29. Shanahans on the Green, Clontarf, €€€€€€€ or so, a lot anyway, Gimmeabreak
    NA. 3 short reviews RDIII - Pearl, Merrion Row. Bay, Clontarf Road. Matt the Threshers, Pembroke St.
    30. Thorntons, Stephens Green, €€€€€, Zuutroy
    31. Saagar, Harcourt St, €€€, Rounders123
    32. The Winding Stair, Lower Ormonde St, €€, Careca
    33. Patrick Guilbald, HiCloy - also includes various short reviews of other establishments
    34. The Oar House, Howth, €€€, Raoul Duke III
    35. L'Ecrivian, Lower Baggot St, €€€/€€€€, Ionapaul
    36. Pichet, Trinity St, Dublin 2, €€€, TomD
    37. Seapoint Fish and Grill, Monkstown, €€€, Shrapnel
    38. Good World Chinese, Georges St Dublin 2, €€, RDIII
    39. Waterfront Grill, Darling Harbour, Sydney, €€€ Mellor
    40. The Green House, Dawson St Dublin, €€€€€, BennyHiFi
    41. The House, Howth, €€€/€, Gimmeabreak
    42. Dada Moroccan Restaurant, South William St, €€, Careca
    NA 3 Short reviews from RDIII all Dunmore East, Waterford - Strand Inn, Spinnaker, Lemon Tree Cafe
    43. Dinner by Heston, London, €€€€€, mcnugget
    44. Bang, Merrion Row, €€€, Zuutroy
    45. The House @ Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford, €€€€€, Gimmeabreak
    46. The Pigs Tale, Gorey, Co Wexford, €€€, Gimmeabreak
    47. The Tannery, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, €€€€, Gimmeabreak
    48. Blairscove, Durrus, Bantry, Co Cork, €€€€, Strewelpeter
    49. Fishy Fishy, Kinsale, Co Cork, €€€€, Strewelpeter
    50. La Cave, South Anne St, Dublin 2, €€€, Raoul Duke III
    51. San Lorenzo, Georges St, Dublin 2, €€€, Raoul Duke III
    52. Ainar, Dominic St, Galway, €€€, Mike
    53. Nobu, London, €€€, newbie2
    54. Butcher Grill, Ranelagh, €€€.5, PokerPiper
    55. Roly's and Restaurant Patrick Gilbaud, €€ and €€€€€ respectively, newbie2
    56. The Greenhouse, €€€€€, elbows
    57. McDonalds, Enniskillen, €, TheDrunkenOne
    58. Rasam, Glasthule, €€€€€, Raoul Duke III
    59. Rock Lobster, Donnybrook, €€, Mickey Rosa
    60. Damson Diner, South William St, €€, careca
    61. Balzac, back of La Stampa, €€, DeadParrot
    62. Fallon and Byrne, Exchequer St D2, €€€€, Raoul Duke III
    63. Damascus Gate, Upper Camden St D2, Rounders
    64. Lady Helen, Mount Juliet, Kilkenny, €€€/€€€€, BennyHiFi
    65. Mollysbar, Parts Unkown, TheDrunkenOne
    66. Shanahans on the Green, St Stephens Green, Dublin 2, €€€/€€€€, iSnow
    67. The Cedar Tree, Andrew St, Dublin 2, €€/€€€, Raoul Duke III
    68. The Heliot, Cranbourne St, Leicester Square, London, €€/€€€, iSnow
    69. Les Gourmandises, Cook St, Cork, €€/€€€, newbie2
    70. Johnny Foxes, Glencullen, €€/€€€, iSnow
    71. Jacques Restaurant, Cork, €€/€€€, newbie2
    72. King Sitric, Howth, €€€/€€€€, Raoul Duke III
    73. Yammamori Sushi, 38-39 Lower Ormonde Quay, Dublin, €€/€€€, iSnow
    74. L'Artist, 6 Tigne St, Sliema, Malta, €€/€€€, iSnow
    75. Il Primo, Montague St, Dublin, €€/€€€, BennyHiFi
    76. 777, Great Georges St, Dublin, €€€, mocata
    77. One Pico, Schoolhous Lane, Dublin, €€€€€, Gimmeabreak
    78. The Vintage Kitchen, Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, €€/€€€, Raoul Duke III
    79. Il Vocolo Cafe and Wine Bar, Buttermilk Walk, Galway, €€€, Ionapaul
    80. Locks Brasserie, Between Harolds Cross and Portobello Bridges, €€€, careca
    81. Fade St Social, Fade Street, Dublin, €€, BennyHiFi
    82. Brasserie 66, Georges St, Dublin 2, €€€, Raoul Duke III pictures here
    83. Brasserie 66, Georges St, Dublin 2, €€€, iSnow
    84. Downstairs, Clontarf, RasTa
    85. La Mere Zou, St Stephens Green, Dublin, €€€€, Roaul Duke III
    86. Monart, Enniscorthy, €€€€, shrapnel
    87. Tribes, Glasthule, €€/€, Dice75
    88. Mollys Bar, Parts unknown, TheDrunkenOne
    89. Saba, Clarendon St, Dublin 2, €€€€, Raoul Duke III
    90. Kimchi, Parnell St, Dublin 1, €€, Rufio
    91. The Hot Stove, Parnell Square West, Dublin 1, €€€, Rufio
    92. Bison, 11 Wellington Quay, €€, DeadParrot
    93. Las Tapas de Lola, Wexford St Dublin 2, €€€, BennyHiFi
    94. Picaderos, Maynooth, €€, JohnOB
    95. The Dew Drop Inn, Kill, Co. Kildare, €€/€€€, Gimmeabreak
    96. Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland, €€€€€, BennyHiFi
    97. The Schoolhouse, Dublin 4, €€, ionapaul
    98. Chapter 1, Dublin, €€€€€, ionapaul
    99. Les Comediens, Place De Clichy, Paris, ???, Rounders123
    100. Pitt Bros BBQ Project, Georges St, Dublin 2, €/€€, JohnOB
    101. The Greenhouse, Dawson Street, Dublin 2, €€€€€, Gimmeabreak
    102. Lawlors Hotel, Poplar Square, Naas, Co. Kildare, €/€€, Michelle SatNav
    103. Bo London, 4 Mill Street, London, W1S 2AX, €€€€, newbie2
    Last edited by 6starpool; 03-12-13, 23:47.

    #2
    Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

    Restaurant Name: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, 2 Michelin Stars

    Location: Merrion Hotel, Dublin

    Website: www.restaurantpatrickguilbaud.ie

    Price Range: €€€€€

    I was lucky enough to have a lunch arranged for here today, as it was booked a few weeks back it is fair to say that I was looking forward to it with anticipation. In short it was amazing but here is why.

    We were met in the reception area by a variety of staff, some who were supposed to be there and some who were just there by chance. From the word go it was clear that they were intent on making it a very personable dining experience as each staff member offered their hand to welcome us to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and invite us to enjoy our lunch. From there we were taken to a reception room where up to probably 4 or 5 groups could sit, enjoy a drink and peruse the menu.

    As it was a business lunch we were chatting at length about various things when they interrupted to try and take our order, we had hardly checked the menu at this stage but they returned a couple of minutes later to take our orders. I felt as if they were trying to rush us through but in hindsight they stagger the booking times and give (in their own heads) a set time for people to relax there before moving them to their table – there is limited space in the reception room so it is important to push people through. We were almost certainly there more than enough time to check out the menu and place an order but the nature of our lunch (where 2 people were meeting for the first time) meant that we took longer to get to the menu.

    So we ordered the food and were then presented with the wine list, it is huge, I could easily drink a full bottle of wine and still wouldn’t have taken in the depth and breath of the wine list in that time. I was mad keen on getting stuck into a bottle but the others were all driving so I declined. The wine list catered for all needs and budgets – It looked liked the average price was €175 or thereabouts which probably isn’t too expensive for the place. I did notice that they had Kanonkop Paul Sauer on the menu at €52, the same bottle will set you back €32 in O’Briens so I don’t think they could be accused of not fitting all budgets and I don’t think they can be accused of price gouging either. There was a sommelier on hand to assist were you to require his assistance.

    From here we were taken to our table. You walk through a bar area en route to the table, it isn’t a bar where you can sit but a bar where they prepare all the drinks – looking at it I would have been more than happy to pull up a stool and down a Gin & Tonic at the bar, I doubt that is allowed. As you get to the table there was somebody standing behind all chairs to seat you comfortably.

    They started by presenting us with a massive selection of breads – there had to have been 7 or 8 different fresh breads all of which looked amazing and the lads I was with certainly liked them. We were then presented with an appetiser which was not on the menu, it was really just a spoonful of food and it was terrine of ham hock with chilli mustard, some strange mushroom, small onion and cress. It tasted fine by me.

    The lunch menu was a limited choice, I had something that was basically salted cod croquettes, bayonne ham, fresh pesto and topped with a fried quail egg. It was damn nice and the pesto had great flavour to it – real fresh pesto is good gear compared to the stuff you buy off the shelf. Two of the lads had cauliflower soup and said it was very good.
    For main course I had slow roasted suckling pig, with some delicate carrots, parsnips and onion, it was served with some sauce or puree or similar, it was also accompanied with a small side of jacket potato, broccoli and carrot. Some of the others had Fillet of Seabass, it was a decent looking piece of fish and both said it was top notch.

    Desert was a sliver of chocolate torte and home made lemon icecream. There was also a monster cheeseboard, it was huge, easily the biggest cheeseboard I have seen in any restaurant in my life – the next table had the cheese and the waiter was able to talk them through all the cheese and help them pick to their liking. To finish we had coffees and espressos and what not along with petit fours.

    The dining room itself is excellent. Very comfortable with lots and lots of space and you never for one moment felt uncomfortable or felt like you couldn’t talk business for fear of being overheard. Whilst all of this was very good the level of service is what set this aside from any other dining experience. The staff were on hand to do whatever they could for you but did it in a very unobtrusive manner. I mean they even walked you to the bathroom to show you the way but it never once felt uncomfortable.

    I think I will struggle to do the service justice here but our table of 4 had 2 dedicated waiters. Service was done with perfect symmetry. They would approach the table in unison, stand by the side and then move in perfect motion. They would place a plate in front of you and and the guy sitting across from you would have your plate hit the table at exactly the same time, they would then move anti clockwise and repeat it for the other two diners. This was the same when they were collecting plates or removing the silver domes on the main course. I was observing other tables and you could notice the eye contact between the servers making sure their actions were in harmony.

    As you would expect from a 2 Star Michelin Restaurant service was all on trays, every one of the waiters were career waiters, I suspect they were almost exclusively French and in fact I don’t think I heard an Irish accent. They were impeccable. One of the head waiters would explain the content of each course to you as you were preparing to eat. You never had to raise your head for water, they were in as soon as your glass was half way down.

    As somebody who is highly critical of service this was faultless, it is a perfect case study on how service should be executed. I mean as a restaurant owner you pay these guys to wait tables so you may as well set a critically high standard and ask them to meet it. Almost every restaurant in Ireland is missing a trick on this front.

    Lunch was €50 a head for 3 courses and included all your bottled water and coffees. There was no extra charge for our pre lunch drinks but they were soft so I am not sure if you would be charged for a large XO?

    Patrick Guilbaud was himself dining at the table next to us. He was on hand to shake each of our hands on the way out the door. He thanked us for our custom, enquired if everything was up to standard and said he hoped to see us all again soon. To me this is just a nice personal touch and it shows how his customer centric perspective radiates through the experience and his staff.

    On balance I cannot wait to get back there. I would recommend it to anybody. €50 might seem a little pricey for lunch but you can pay €30 - €35 pretty much anywhere for comparable Sunday lunch in any old Bistro. This is a special experience though and I can see myself getting back their soon.

    Comment


      #3
      Great stuff Noel. Thanks for starting this.

      Everyone - Can we please avoid any 2-3 line reviews. Also after you post a review if you can report your own post to give us a reminder to update the first post that would be great.

      Now to read GAB's review (glad I just had me dinner, not one to read on an empty stomach I'm sure!(

      Comment


        #4
        It turns out that Pauli Tuilio reviewed Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in last weeks indo, those interested can find it here. His review might explain why I never had to look for water today.

        Guilbaud was also interviewed on Savage Sunday last weekend, you can hear it here for another few days, havent listened yet but from twitter it seems he is on at the start of part 2.

        Comment


          #5
          Great review Noel.
          I was actually shocked when you said it was €50 a head. I was expecting it to be much more.

          Comment


            #6
            Restaurant Name: Pearl Brasserie

            Location: In cellar up street from Merrion Hotel

            Website: http://www.pearl-brasserie.com/accueil.htm

            Price Range: €€€/€€€€ ( was 160 for 2 inc wine, if thats a better guide)


            This would be one of the most impressive places I have been in Dublin. If looking to treat the GF, ask for one of the Alcoves. They are like an igloo with black and white fabric squares on ceiling, candles make lovely shadow patterns. The effect was almost hypnotic.

            Staff were excellent, warm welcome and seemed genuinely happy to be there. We were debating between a few different starters and mains and they asked us if we would like a small sample of each as an amuse bouche. There were quite a few nice gestures throughout the evening, we were left to enjoy ourselves, but when we looked up from table, someone made eye contact straight away. When GF went to the toilet, waitress came over after a few minutes to engage me in light conversation about the food, not just the standard "Everything ok for you" and standard "Yes" response. Maitre D' came over while ordering dessert, and asked if we would like a complimentary Kir Royale that they were training some of the staff to make.

            Food wise, the stand out dish was the Hake, it was on a chorizo and tomato stew with saffron potatoes, beautiful looking plate of food. Vibrant yellow potatoes with a deep rich red sauce and then lovely crispy skinned Hake on top. Had a good earthy Ham hock terrine with hint of mustard for starters, and she had Pork Belly for a main, which was tasty enough, but not as impressive as the fish. She had the Tasting of Lemon for dessert, which didnt have enough variety for me, fair enough there was a good range of textures. I had a blackberry tart with chocolate ganache and sorbet, a far more rounded dessert in my eyes.

            Wine was marked up about 50% at a rough guess, which was fair enough. Good wide range too by the glass. Shared a bottle of lovely buttery Sancerre, and a glass of Valpolicella for myself just for R & D purposes

            Coffee and Petit fours were decent too, asked if we would like a peppermint tea after coffee as a digestif.

            Would definitely recommend it, has that bit of extra polish and class that makes a good meal a memorable one.
            Low fee Euro/UK money transfer, 1st transfer free through my referral
            https://transferwise.com/u/bfa0e

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mellor View Post
              Great review Noel.
              I was actually shocked when you said it was €50 a head. I was expecting it to be much more.
              We were in it a few years back and it was €50 for a main course! :O

              would happily pay that for lunch for a nice treat someday
              Low fee Euro/UK money transfer, 1st transfer free through my referral
              https://transferwise.com/u/bfa0e

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mocata View Post
                We were in it a few years back and it was €50 for a main course! :O

                would happily pay that for lunch for a nice treat someday
                RPG has had a reasonable lunch price point for some time now. Dinner obv much more expensive.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think that level of fussy service would make it hard for me to relax.

                  Hope for a full Burger King review from Icarus after he recovers from his Friday night stag.
                  X can be anything, any number, that is what’s CRAZY about X.
                  Because X doesn’t roll like that, because X can’t be pinned down!

                  $ Free Travel Credit with Airbnb $

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mocata View Post
                    We were in it a few years back and it was €50 for a main course! :O

                    would happily pay that for lunch for a nice treat someday
                    IIRC they've always had a cheapish lunch menu (at least for the last 5 years or so).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mocata View Post
                      Restaurant Name: Pearl Brasserie

                      Location: In cellar up street from Merrion Hotel

                      Website: http://www.pearl-brasserie.com/accueil.htm

                      Price Range: €€€/€€€€ ( was 160 for 2 inc wine, if thats a better guide)


                      This would be one of the most impressive places I have been in Dublin. If looking to treat the GF, ask for one of the Alcoves. They are like an igloo with black and white fabric squares on ceiling, candles make lovely shadow patterns. The effect was almost hypnotic.

                      Staff were excellent, warm welcome and seemed genuinely happy to be there. We were debating between a few different starters and mains and they asked us if we would like a small sample of each as an amuse bouche. There were quite a few nice gestures throughout the evening, we were left to enjoy ourselves, but when we looked up from table, someone made eye contact straight away. When GF went to the toilet, waitress came over after a few minutes to engage me in light conversation about the food, not just the standard "Everything ok for you" and standard "Yes" response. Maitre D' came over while ordering dessert, and asked if we would like a complimentary Kir Royale that they were training some of the staff to make.

                      Food wise, the stand out dish was the Hake, it was on a chorizo and tomato stew with saffron potatoes, beautiful looking plate of food. Vibrant yellow potatoes with a deep rich red sauce and then lovely crispy skinned Hake on top. Had a good earthy Ham hock terrine with hint of mustard for starters, and she had Pork Belly for a main, which was tasty enough, but not as impressive as the fish. She had the Tasting of Lemon for dessert, which didnt have enough variety for me, fair enough there was a good range of textures. I had a blackberry tart with chocolate ganache and sorbet, a far more rounded dessert in my eyes.

                      Wine was marked up about 50% at a rough guess, which was fair enough. Good wide range too by the glass. Shared a bottle of lovely buttery Sancerre, and a glass of Valpolicella for myself just for R & D purposes

                      Coffee and Petit fours were decent too, asked if we would like a peppermint tea after coffee as a digestif.

                      Would definitely recommend it, has that bit of extra polish and class that makes a good meal a memorable one.
                      definitely one of my favorites. he also owns locks in portobello, which is cheaper and not as refined but absolutely delicious.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        great thread, I'm going to Hemmingways tonight so will chip in with a review at some point
                        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Similarly, going to the Dining Room at La Stampa later so will add a write-up at some stage over the next few days.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Paul, Noel et al should copy over the reviews they've done previously to this thread if they get a chance imo.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If anyone can just post a link to any bbv reviews they have previously done, we can edit the links into the OP here at some point.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Here are some of my older reviews:

                                Peploes, Dublin, €€€, ionapaul
                                Kitchen Restuarant, Dublin, €€, ionapaul
                                The Bridge Bar & Grill, Dublin, €€€, ionapaul
                                l'Ecrivain, Dublin, €€€€, ionapaul

                                I may have a few older ones from Vegas, etc in the archives, will have to do a proper search.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Going to Bon Appetit tonight, so will report back!
                                  “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Heres one I did for Chapter One a good while back, prob some more up-to-date/better ones around.

                                    Chapter One

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Moro

                                      This one is bit strange in that it's actually in another country; London to be precise. However, lots of the foodies may be familiar with it as it's a well-known name due to the success of its cookbooks (here, here and here) so I thought I would stick up a review for peeps who may happen to find themselves in London.

                                      Restaurant Name: Moro

                                      Location: Exmouth Market, Farringdon, North London (closest tube station is Farringdon on the District & Circle lines)

                                      Website: here

                                      Price Range: £££

                                      Review: I'd never heard of this place until Mrs Duke purchased a copy of their first cookbook back in about 2005. At the time, childless and carefree as we were (), we had spent quite a few holidays in Spain. These tended to revolve around food as we visited places like the Basque country, Seville, Madrid and Barcelona and duly gorged ourselves on the outstanding local produce and excellent cooking that was to be found, both in restaurants and also in pintxos\tapas bars. So it's safe to say that we were (and are) both fans of Spanish cuisine. Then Mrs Duke picked up the Moro cookbook; their whole philosophy is a blending of both Spanish and North African cuisines. We recognised a lot of the Spanish-themed dishes but were unfamiliar with the North African ones. In any case we cooked ourselves plenty of dishes from the book and, when we made a weekend visit to London in 2005, made sure to snag ourselves a table at Moro where the food was outstanding.

                                      Last Monday, without a plan and facing the prospect of another evening after work trying to entertain myself in London, I was idly browsing a restaurant review site where I noticed Moro pop up. I then decided to make a return visit and see if the food was as good as I remembered.....

                                      Moro is situated in Exmouth Market which is a pedestrianised street in North London, nice area (decent bars for pre- or post-dinner imbibing) and easy to locate. It's still far enough from the tourist trail to ensure that the patrons will be almost exclusively local, no bad thing in my book. I wandered up there from the Square Mile after work on a bitterly cold evening, planning to arrive exactly at 7 and fondly imagining that they couldn't be all that busy on a Monday evening in February. More fool me. I arrived at 6.55 and confidently asked for a table for one; the maitre'd smiled at my foolishness and showed me the reservations book - packed. Doh. Crushed, I imagined myself slinking off to the uninviting tandoori joint across the street when she took pity on me and offered me a seat at the bar. This turned out to be a winning formula as it meant I got the opportunity to order from both the tapas menu and the dinner menu.

                                      Moro itself is a large, boxy room tricked out in muted colours with fairly standard furniture. Fuck it, I don't go to restaurants to consider their interior decoration . I perched myself on a rickety enough stool at the bar and was instantly offered a drink and given both the tapas menu and a dinner menu. Freshly baked bread appeared with some seriously zingy olive oil. Good start. I ordered a glass of Verdejo and set about checking out the clientele surreptitiously in the large mirror over the bar. About 80% female and well turned out, so this might be a good place for the sleazier types amongst the IPB fraternity. In terms of atmosphere you couldn't be further from recessionary Dublin - you could be sure these people weren't having repetitive conversations about negative equity and tracker rates. The fact that it was London Fashion Week may have helped.

                                      I ordered two tapas as a starter and decided to mix and match my cuisines; grilled chorizo and Baba Ganoush. The chorizo was what you'd expect; a firm, meaty hunk of chorizo, just oozing a tiny bit of paprika-flavoured oil. A million miles away from the cellophane-wrapped crap that infests our supermarkets. I mopped up the remaining oil with my bread and turned my attentions to the Baba Ganoush. This is an old favourite of mine that I like to call 'hummous for the discerning gentleman'. This version was not as silky smooth as some but had a beautiful smoky aftertaste from the grilled aubergine with a faint, but not overpowering hint of garlic. Sublime, my only complaint was they didn't provide any flatbread with it.

                                      I pushed away the plates and the friendly barman immediately removed them and offered me another glass of verdejo. I was sure I recognised his accent so I enquired what part of Australia he was from. "Clonmel" came the reply . Yes, another glass please.

                                      The main duly arrived; billed as 'Charcoal grilled mackerel on flatbread with chilli, cabbage salad, walnuts and tahini sauce' which I thought was a decent example of typical Moro cooking. I also love mackerel and will order it at every opportunity. This was a really exciting and inviting dish; perfectly cooked mackerel (again with a hint of smokiness from the grill) sitting on Moroccan-style flatbread and a zingy mixture of walnuts, chili, sauce and a few pimientos piled on top. Not something I would ever think of myself but thrown together by an expert, superb. The verdejo chased this all down nicely. Service was friendly and unobtrusive throughout.

                                      I was sated after this so didn't bother with desserts but they did look enticing; 'Rosewater and cardamom ice cream' or 'Yoghurt cake with pistachios and pomegranate' both sounded intriguing. One decent espresso later and I was out the door. The damage was about £40. There is no equivalent of Moro in Dublin, more's the pity, so if you do get the opportunity to eat here I would heartily recommend you take it.
                                      "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Restaurant Name: Bon Appetit

                                        Location: Malahide

                                        Website: www.bonappetit.ie

                                        Price Range: €€€€

                                        Review:

                                        Went here tonight for GF's birthday without knowing too much about it except that it has a Michelin star. Maitre D got mixed up and said 'party of 8' because there was another booking under my surname which is excusable I guess. We were brought up to the dining room which has no more than 15 tables and is very well turned out. The quality of the furnishing is great and the super heavy curtains and carpet give it a very intimate and quiet feel.

                                        We opted for the 7 course surprise menu, and a bottle of Croix Des Vents which is a Bordeaux. It came in at 37 euro which was on the lower end, but this is fine given we're relative wine noobs.

                                        After the excellent bread, (I had bacon and onion and she had traditional sode bread) first out was an amuse bouche of spicy carrot veloute with lentils and gruyere choux pastry. It was very nice and buttery without having an overwhelming flavour. Next up was pigeon breast with pureed swede, baby carrots and bacon lardons with some kind of jus. This was really good, despite me being a bit skeptical about pigeon. It's a very dense meat, but the texture was well offset with the swede and lardons.

                                        Next up was a Dublin Bay prawn ravioli with lobster bisque and tomato fondant. Very nice without being outstanding. A nice change of pace from the pigeon.

                                        Following this we had a raspberry sorbet, then into the 'main' course which was Roast Breast of Pheasant, Confit Thigh, Jerusalem Artichoke, Creamed
                                        Celeriac and Black Truffle Jus. This is one of the nicest things I've ever eaten, only second to Conrad Gallagher's quail risotto in Salon Des Saveurs. Just amazing.

                                        Pre-dessert was lemon meringue (foamy) with some soft of biscotti. Very nice again without being remarkable.

                                        Desert was a vanilla pannacotta with pineapple slices and a kind of chocolate wafer. Really nice, and not overly sweet which suited me perfectly because I don't have an overly sweet tooth.

                                        We finished off with coffee and chocolates. Not mad about the coffee. It was quite bitter and the chocolates only arrived after I had finished the coffee and they were far to rich to eat with no drink.

                                        Overall the service was excellent and the waiters were very knowledgeable about what they were serving up. One of two slight mis-steps but nothing to get us out of joint.

                                        Total cost including tip was 212 euro and I think it was well worth it. Would highly recommend trying it out, and I think its better than Chapter One, but I've only ever done pre-theatre there.
                                        “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          I'm not up for writing a full review now, anyway I should leave it to Raoul who I believe is a fan of the place but I ate in Pichet for the first time tonight.

                                          The deep fried egg starter is as well conceived and executed a dish as I've ever eaten.
                                          Turning millions into thousands

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            5 star thread lads. I'm salivating here.

                                            I like the addition of a few foreign restaurant reviews as well. I have a few from Rome, Montpellier and Paris to add as it will help any IPBer find a decent place to eat wherever their travels take them.

                                            I must see about getting that Moro book from my cousins as well....
                                            ‘IF YOU had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.” Genghis Khan

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              Am I the only one who had to look up what an "amuse bouche" was? It's far from amuse bouche I was reared.

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                I was hardly born with the silver spoon myself, but its hard not to get caught up in the wonderful pretentiousness of fine dining!
                                                When I go to places like this, or fly first class with pilot friend occasionally, I always end up thinking 'man, this is the life...I need to find a way to get rich so I can do this more often', but that usually subsides after a day or two and I'm back to laughing at funny cats on the internet.
                                                “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by zuutroy View Post
                                                  I was hardly born with the silver spoon myself, but its hard not to get caught up in the wonderful pretentiousness of fine dining!
                                                  When I go to places like this, or fly first class with pilot friend occasionally, I always end up thinking 'man, this is the life...I need to find a way to get rich so I can do this more often', but that usually subsides after a day or two and I'm back to laughing at funny cats on the internet.
                                                  I'm not being a snob, they sound lovely, but I genuinely had to google it to find out what it was.

                                                  Comment


                                                    #26
                                                    Originally posted by 5starpool View Post
                                                    Am I the only one who had to look up what an "amuse bouche" was? It's far from amuse bouche I was reared.
                                                    Yea, had no idea what some things were either. Wikis explanation didn't help either.

                                                    An amuse-bouche [amyzbuʃ] or amuse-gueule [amyzɡœl] is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre.

                                                    Will try to do a proper review of La Stampa as well but was fairly inebriated for most of it.

                                                    Comment


                                                      #27
                                                      Originally posted by 5starpool View Post
                                                      I'm not being a snob, they sound lovely, but I genuinely had to google it to find out what it was.
                                                      I've never had one either, but my basic french translated it as mouth amuser. So had an idea.
                                                      From google, its a small appetiser that the chef selects, as opposite to a entree from the menu.

                                                      Comment


                                                        #28
                                                        Hemmingways

                                                        Restaurant Name: Hemmingways

                                                        Location: Vernon Avenue, Clontarf

                                                        Website: here

                                                        Price Range: €€€

                                                        Review: Mrs Duke and I sashayed out to Hemmingways last Friday night for our first post-baby dinner date together (those of you with children will know how momentous an occasion this represents). With a granny safely ensconced at home with the brats, we motored into the Sheds for pre-prandial libations. Cometh 8.30 and we were starving as we entered Hemmingways through its rather alarmingly blue-lit doorway. Despite putting one in mind of the entrance to a cheaper lap-dancing establishment, we were greeted effusively by the owner, a garrulous chap in his fifties who certainly knows what hospitality is all about.

                                                        Having landed at our table and secured a bottle of acceptable albarino, we perused the menu at the specials board – which, in keeping with the generally eccentric tone of the establishment, was printed on a large chalkboard that also doubles as the door to the jacks. If you’ve never been before, Hemmingways is all about fish which makes it a natural competitor to places like Aqua, Deep and the Oarhouse in Howth or Cavistons in Glasthule. It’s also tiny, with a mere 26 seats, although the lack of space is more than made up for the personality of the proprietor. The specials\jacks board looked promising, listing as it did lemon sole, monkfish, hake and dorada. We were assured that all the fish was fresh off the boat. The wine list was short and covered the major bases, with Chablis, Sancerre, kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and the other usual suspects represented. Mark-up was not excessive.

                                                        Having ordered, we relaxed and checked out our fellow diners. We were gratified to note that we were the youngest couple in the joint, which with forty not being many years away was a pleasant discovery. The Negative Equity generation is obviously too life-fucked to afford many meals out these days but the healthy and wealthy fifty- and sixty-somethings of Clontarf were showing no signs of financial distress as they uninhibitedly celebrated the coming of the weekend. Our thoughts were turned tableward by the arrival of our starters; I had ordered prawns pil-pil which turned out to be four meaty (and definitely unfrozen) prawns, swimming in an earthenware bowl full of a chilli and garlic laden sauce. Two sticks of garlic bread on the side were an excellent addition as they allowed me to lap up all the remaining sauce with some degree of dignity. Mrs Duke’s Dublin Bay prawns were succulent, sweet and mercifully deshelled. A nice touch from the patron here as she had originally ordered them with pil-pil sauce but he persuaded here that this would overwhelm their delicate flavour. He was right too.

                                                        The albarino was flowing nicely as our mains were delivered. Mrs Duke had ordered lemon sole which had been billed as having an accompanying bisque. Instead, it came with lemon butter, which was perfectly acceptable in its own right but was a rather strange case of false advertising. The fish itself was cooked to perfection. I ordered an old friend, dorada aka sea bream, which was served whole with a sauce made up of Thai flavours with lemongrass, chilli and the likes. Personally, when it comes to fish I am very much in the ‘less is more’ camp, feeling that fresh fish, perfectly cooked with simple sides is more than adequate. The dorada itself was a fine meaty specimen but I felt that the Asian flavours were overkill and detracted from the fish. Side dishes of a simple green salad and sautéed potatoes were fine.

                                                        Having polished off the albarino we now made enquiries as to the existence of a dessert menu and received the rather strange response that ‘we don’t do desserts’. We were offered an Irish coffee instead which we duly accepted. Most other tables were well into their second bottle of wine at this point and the owner was joining in the mayhem with gusto. As we awaited our coffees, we clearly saw two desserts being brought out to another table! Very strange but being replete, we decided not to get annoyed. The Irish coffees were an acceptable version and we called for the boss to drop the hatchet. The damage was €91 with the Irish coffees on the house which was a nice touch. We rounded it up to the ton and retired to the Sheds for a nightcap.

                                                        Overall Hemmingways is a worthwhile destination for lovers of seafood, I would prefer if they simplified their main courses somewhat and focussed on the fish but their clientele is clearly devoted. Service and hospitality manages to be both charming and eccentric; this is a long way from the corporate world. We’ll be back (maybe even with the secret password that unlocks the dessert menu).

                                                        7.5\10.
                                                        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                        Comment


                                                          #29
                                                          The Dining Room at La Stampa

                                                          Restaurant Name: The Dining Room

                                                          Location: La Stampa Hotel, Dublin

                                                          Website: http://www.lastampa.ie/balzac-restaurant-dublin

                                                          Price Range: €€€

                                                          Went to The Dining Room for the very first time last Friday evening, using a voucher which entitled us to a 3-course meal for two plus bottle of wine. We were warmly greeted upon arrival, our coats whisked into the cloakroom, and seated at a table in the middle 'row' of the impressively large dining room. There was a jazz duo (piano and double bass) at the front of the room, I'm not usually much of a jazz fan but they were pretty good and had us clicking our fingers in appreciation (not really - do people do that in reality I wonder?) as the night wore on. The place was surprisingly empty when we sat down just after 8, but started to fill up from then on.

                                                          For starters, I selected the special, a poached egg with oyster and asparagus puree (I think that was what accompanied the egg, not 100% in my memory), pancetta and toasted brioche. Herself had grilled Goats Cheese in a funky salad. Both starters went down a treat, I don't often eat egg but really enjoyed this, the puree was very tasty also.

                                                          For mains, I went for a Venison Shepard's Pie, which came with shallots, pumpkin, chestnuts and (unsurprisingly!) mashed potatoes. Herself chose roast Seabass, which came with carrot puree, garlic and mussels. The venison was melt-in-the-mouth, as any slowly cooked meat in the pie should be I suppose, the sauce it was in was really mouthwatering as well, I'd love to know how to make it! The GF loved her fish, I only had a taste and it seemed pleasant enough - not too much of it there though, so I wouldn't go for it if I dined there again. We accompanied our dinner with a bottle of the house Pinot Grigio, nothing spectacular but nice enough.

                                                          We were both quite full by the time we finished our mains so deliberately requested some time time before ordering dessert; I went for Chocolate Mousse with passionfruit icecream and herself ordered a Vanilla Creme Brulee with shortbread. The mousse was pretty pedestrian, you'd get the same from Tesco in my opinion - the icecream was nice though. If I recall correctly, the creme brulee was similarly nothing special, just ok. We also ordered cocktails, which were tasty but weak and thus overpriced, and I had a glass of some nice dessert wine.

                                                          By this stage in the night the place was hopping, not a spare seat in the house, and was very loud. We found this pretty offputting - we could still hear the live music fine enough but with lots of wine bottles going to and from the various tables, groups of diners started getting louder and louder. Additionally, the place felt a bit understaffed as a result of all the business they were doing, so the wait staff were really rushing about behind both of us (since we were in the middle row) for the last hour of our meal - again, nothing major but a little offputting. We never felt rushed ourselves though and were free to set the pace of our meal and a time to leave.

                                                          Since the 3-course meals and the wine were already paid for by the voucher, there wasn't too much to take care of when the bill arrived - I'm guessing that our spend was about €110 in total including tip and the initial outlay for the voucher? I guess we saved at least €30 off the a la carte price, perhaps a bit more.

                                                          I was impressed by the service leaving the place, the front desk area was well staffed, our coats and hat returned to us promptly and the hostess was eager to ask us how the night went and what we thought of the meal. When we remarked on how busy it was she said the previous Friday was their busiest ever, they had been rushed off their feet.

                                                          By and large we were pleased with the meal, but if I were to go again I'd avoid a Friday night. I'm a little curious as to the reason for the voucher deal (via the Irish Times deal website), as it was clear that most of those dining on Friday were business people based around town and not using vouchers, it didn't seem like they needed to run a presumably below-cost offer. Maybe it is empty enough mid-week?
                                                          Last edited by ionapaul; 27-02-12, 11:30.

                                                          Comment


                                                            #30
                                                            Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                                            Restaurant Name: Hemmingways

                                                            Location: Vernon Avenue, Clontarf

                                                            Website: here

                                                            Price Range: €€€

                                                            The damage was €91 with the Irish coffees on the house which was a nice touch. We rounded it up to the ton and retired to the Sheds for a nightcap.



                                                            7.5\10.
                                                            No wonder you are rich.

                                                            Comment


                                                              #31
                                                              Originally posted by eoghan104 View Post
                                                              No wonder you are rich.
                                                              I'm not

                                                              10% in an owner-run place is standard enough, 'twas him and his young lad as front of house
                                                              "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                              Comment


                                                                #32
                                                                Paul,

                                                                The Dining Room at La Stampa has just been taken over by new management. Ronan Ryan (formerly of Town Bar & Grill) is running the joint. I'd say he wanted to bring some notice to it, hence the vouchers. But I would say he has a decent loyal following from his time in TBG.

                                                                Comment


                                                                  #33
                                                                  Does Conrad Gallagher have a job atm?
                                                                  “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

                                                                  Comment


                                                                    #34
                                                                    Originally posted by zuutroy View Post
                                                                    Does Conrad Gallagher have a job atm?
                                                                    Heard something about him being in Vegas, not 100% though.

                                                                    Comment


                                                                      #35
                                                                      Really enjoying the reviews, have nought to add to it tho. Most surprising thing to me is learning the RDIII is younger than I thought

                                                                      Comment


                                                                        #36
                                                                        Originally posted by ghostface ste View Post
                                                                        Really enjoying the reviews, have nought to add to it tho. Most surprising thing to me is learning the RDIII is younger than I thought
                                                                        GFY

                                                                        imho
                                                                        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                        Comment


                                                                          #37
                                                                          Originally posted by ghostface ste View Post
                                                                          Really enjoying the reviews, have nought to add to it tho. Most surprising thing to me is learning the RDIII is younger than I thought
                                                                          Looks far older though

                                                                          Going to The Millstone? on Dame St on Saturday next - dunno what its like or if its worth a review, time will tell I guess.

                                                                          Comment


                                                                            #38
                                                                            Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                                                            GFY

                                                                            imho
                                                                            Originally posted by Dice75 View Post
                                                                            Looks far older though
                                                                            lol, don't think I've ever spied RDIII, was just cos he has about 12 kids!

                                                                            Comment


                                                                              #39
                                                                              Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                                                                              Paul,

                                                                              The Dining Room at La Stampa has just been taken over by new management. Ronan Ryan (formerly of Town Bar & Grill) is running the joint.
                                                                              Makes sense - just googled a picture of him and he definitely was the main man there on Friday, personally welcoming a lot of the better-heeled types to the restaurant and on hand for a bit of smoozing!

                                                                              Originally posted by Dice75 View Post
                                                                              Going to The Millstone? on Dame St on Saturday next.
                                                                              Girlfriend and her buddies love that place, haven't been myself yet. Defo throw up a review!

                                                                              Comment


                                                                                #40
                                                                                Restaurant Name: Admiral Restaurant

                                                                                Location: Marlborough Street, Dublin 1

                                                                                Website: here

                                                                                Price Range: €€

                                                                                Menupages: here


                                                                                .........

                                                                                Visited here for the first time on Saturday. It's a Russian restaurant that I'd heard praised. Well worth the visit to the dodgy part of town.

                                                                                So, the whole restaurant is sea-themed - with the inside made to look like the inside of a ship; right down to having fish swimming around in the portholes on the walls beside each table, and the waitresses being dressed in sailor outfits. Apparently this theme thing was a big trend after the collapse of the USSR - with the cheesier the better being the goal.

                                                                                Took us a few minutes to persuade the waitress to give us menus as she didn't speak enough English to understand 'we'd like to eat lunch'. Myself and the wife were there gesturing to her and miming the act of eating when it clicked in the wife's head that she also spoke Russian. As it turns out the restaurant owner had anticipated this being a potential problem and the menu had pictures of what the food should look like. Usually not the best sign of the meal!

                                                                                Looking around the place while browsing the menu, the wife was saying that the people there looked like they were from the USSR rather than Russia - like wearing pre-1990s Soviet coats, and generally looking like members of a more depressing time in history. I was mainly focused on the tv playing Russian pop hits, as it highly rewarding in terms of titillation. Why don't more restaurants have tv's playing Russian pop hits - would definitely make the dining out experience more entertaining.

                                                                                Anyway, that's all a long way of saying that this was an old-school restaurant.

                                                                                The food itself was quite simple. I started with a borsch and herself had a mushroom soup. Now it does a disservice to the two dishes to describe them in such simple terms - the flavours were excellent. The borsch was one hell of a dish, and her soup had mushrooms I'd never tasted before and really nice. Some nice freshly made Russian bread came with it and accompanied by oodles of Russian butter (tasted very different, but in a 'not sure if good' sense) and lard (wtf?).

                                                                                Main course was a shared pork barbeque (see Page 9 of the menu here to get a flavour of what it looked like). This was just excellent. Pork was so tender and the things that came with it just worked so well. All tasted so different as well - pickled cherry tomatoes are strangely amazing. Should definitely go for the adjika sauce instead of the garlic sauce. Can't imagine you'd handle the dish just for one person unless you went without the starter, but you'd definitely have fun trying.

                                                                                Just shared a dessert - Russian classic of Napoleon cake. Really well made.

                                                                                Didn't get a chance to try the beers or wines, but they were all from that part of the world (Baltica beer being the main one) - if you want to try five Moldavian wines this is possibly the only place in Dublin to do so! (and there's possibly also a good reason for the lack of wider demand). You could easily just go for beers there and have the dishes on the side, as there wasn't any particular expectation that you would sit down for a full meal.

                                                                                Bill came to €42 including €4 tip, so would almost suit even busto-rentboy budgets. Left to skulk back over the river feeling reasonably full and having felt had had a proper experience.
                                                                                "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                Comment


                                                                                  #41
                                                                                  Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                                                                  I'm not

                                                                                  10% in an owner-run place is standard enough, 'twas him and his young lad as front of house
                                                                                  Is 10% generally considered on the mean side? Had assumed that was fine
                                                                                  "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                  Comment


                                                                                    #42
                                                                                    that place sounds mad Hitch. Food looks good though.

                                                                                    Comment


                                                                                      #43
                                                                                      I'm not much of a foodie but I was in that place Hitch and found it horrendous. I was with a group of about 20 or so and obviously we booked ahead.

                                                                                      I can safely say the service was the very worst I have ever endured. 3 people had to leave before the main course to catch buses as it was so slow (2hrs before mains) and the staff were quite rude and had terrible English (hot though).

                                                                                      I had the chicken BBQ thing and found it fatty and chewy.

                                                                                      I won't be back!

                                                                                      Comment


                                                                                        #44
                                                                                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide to... View Post
                                                                                        Restaurant Name: Admiral Restaurant

                                                                                        Location: Marlborough Street, Dublin 1

                                                                                        Website: here

                                                                                        Price Range: €€

                                                                                        Menupages: here


                                                                                        .........

                                                                                        Visited here for the first time on Saturday. It's a Russian restaurant that I'd heard praised. Well worth the visit to the dodgy part of town.

                                                                                        So, the whole restaurant is sea-themed - with the inside made to look like the inside of a ship; right down to having fish swimming around in the portholes on the walls beside each table, and the waitresses being dressed in sailor outfits. Apparently this theme thing was a big trend after the collapse of the USSR - with the cheesier the better being the goal.

                                                                                        Took us a few minutes to persuade the waitress to give us menus as she didn't speak enough English to understand 'we'd like to eat lunch'. Myself and the wife were there gesturing to her and miming the act of eating when it clicked in the wife's head that she also spoke Russian. As it turns out the restaurant owner had anticipated this being a potential problem and the menu had pictures of what the food should look like. Usually not the best sign of the meal!

                                                                                        Looking around the place while browsing the menu, the wife was saying that the people there looked like they were from the USSR rather than Russia - like wearing pre-1990s Soviet coats, and generally looking like members of a more depressing time in history. I was mainly focused on the tv playing Russian pop hits, as it highly rewarding in terms of titillation. Why don't more restaurants have tv's playing Russian pop hits - would definitely make the dining out experience more entertaining.

                                                                                        Anyway, that's all a long way of saying that this was an old-school restaurant.

                                                                                        The food itself was quite simple. I started with a borsch and herself had a mushroom soup. Now it does a disservice to the two dishes to describe them in such simple terms - the flavours were excellent. The borsch was one hell of a dish, and her soup had mushrooms I'd never tasted before and really nice. Some nice freshly made Russian bread came with it and accompanied by oodles of Russian butter (tasted very different, but in a 'not sure if good' sense) and lard (wtf?).

                                                                                        Main course was a shared pork barbeque (see Page 9 of the menu here to get a flavour of what it looked like). This was just excellent. Pork was so tender and the things that came with it just worked so well. All tasted so different as well - pickled cherry tomatoes are strangely amazing. Should definitely go for the adjika sauce instead of the garlic sauce. Can't imagine you'd handle the dish just for one person unless you went without the starter, but you'd definitely have fun trying.

                                                                                        Just shared a dessert - Russian classic of Napoleon cake. Really well made.

                                                                                        Didn't get a chance to try the beers or wines, but they were all from that part of the world (Baltica beer being the main one) - if you want to try five Moldavian wines this is possibly the only place in Dublin to do so! (and there's possibly also a good reason for the lack of wider demand). You could easily just go for beers there and have the dishes on the side, as there wasn't any particular expectation that you would sit down for a full meal.

                                                                                        Bill came to €42 including €4 tip, so would almost suit even busto-rentboy budgets. Left to skulk back over the river feeling reasonably full and having felt had had a proper experience.
                                                                                        I have ate here loads of times since my wife is lithuanian.The food is amazing and possible the best value for money around.They do a lunchtime special,a starter and main and tea and coffe for 10euro.
                                                                                        Last edited by peteypop; 29-02-12, 16:51.

                                                                                        Comment


                                                                                          #45
                                                                                          Originally posted by eoghan104 View Post
                                                                                          I'm not much of a foodie but I was in that place Hitch and found it horrendous. I was with a group of about 20 or so and obviously we booked ahead.

                                                                                          I can safely say the service was the very worst I have ever endured. 3 people had to leave before the main course to catch buses as it was so slow (2hrs before mains) and the staff were quite rude and had terrible English (hot though).

                                                                                          I had the chicken BBQ thing and found it fatty and chewy.

                                                                                          I won't be back!
                                                                                          Pork BBQ and especially Chicken takes an extremely long time to cook,so dont order it if you are in a rush.
                                                                                          SVYTURYS Xtra beer is amazing.

                                                                                          Comment


                                                                                            #46
                                                                                            Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide to... View Post
                                                                                            Is 10% generally considered on the mean side? Had assumed that was fine
                                                                                            I would always consider 10% to be the 'acceptable service' tip and would go to 15-20% for excellent service.

                                                                                            Of course most places skip the entire tip calculation process these days by adding the '12.5% discretionary service charge' onto your bill anyway, fucking hate that. This is absolutely rampant in London. Often I will ask the waiter\waitress if this goes to them (the answer is nearly always 'no') and will then remove it and give the waiter\waitress cash instead as at least I then know it's going to them directly.
                                                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                                            Comment


                                                                                              #47
                                                                                              Having dinner tomorrow night at the chef's table in Chapter One so will pop up a review Sunday/Monday.

                                                                                              Menu is a six course tasting so different from when Careca reviewed in December 2010.

                                                                                              Here's a glimpse of what's in store...http://www.chapteronerestaurant.com/...able.html#nogo

                                                                                              Comment


                                                                                                #48
                                                                                                The Blackboard Bistro

                                                                                                Restaurant Name: Blackboard Bistro

                                                                                                Location: Clare Street, Dublin 2

                                                                                                Website: none

                                                                                                Price Range: €€€

                                                                                                Review: The Blackboard Bistro is a place I've been frequenting for a few years now (I think it was V for Vendetta that first recommended it). Sitting in a small cellar space just opposite the National Gallery, this isn't somewhere you would happen across by accident as it's not exactly a happening bit of town. In any case, it was packed last night when I ventured in for dinner with a friend. The average demographic was again on the fifty+ side (going out to eat these days is certainly a good way to make yourself feel like a young fella again).

                                                                                                The menu is a simple deal; €25 for two courses or €30 for three (wth a couple of small supplements tacked on for things like the ribeye steak and the cheese platter). The cooking is French bistro style, with I believe, a firm focus on the South of France. I suppose this would put it in direct competition with the likes of Chez Max or else La Cave. It's run by a French\Irish couple who seemed fairly harrassed by the Friday night activity levels. In their defence, they have always been quite amiable on previous visits. We only got one menu between us which was odd; the choice was fairly limited with just 4 starters, mains and desserts on the list. I was given the office to choose the wine and went for a Cotes du Rhone from Gigondas. Gigondas is an appellation that I would have a lot of time for (good alternative to Chateauneuf du Pape) but on this occasion the wine was not great, tasting slightly aerated. Null points.

                                                                                                I selected a quail starter which was OK, the quail was nicely cooked and presented on a bed of puy lentils with some sort of sauce that was so unmemorable that I can't remember a thing about it. Not enough quail for my liking either. My companion had a blue cheese and walnut salad which was acceptable enough. Onwards to the mains and I had selected beef cheek. An unusual enough thing to see on an Irish menu and I was hoping for dark sticky meat, falling to pieces in an intensely winey sauce. That, thankfully was exactly what I got - a triumph. Some very good mash accompanied it. I've only had beef cheek once before in my life and that was also a memorable dish. Great work by the chef. My companion had the pork which he inhaled in a matter of seconds, again he had no complaints save for the portion size - a sentiment that I echoed.

                                                                                                After such miserly portions, we were certainly in the mood for dessert. I went for the French cheese platter which was excellent; four beautifully presented chunks of fromage in perfect condition. A small pot of honey on the side was a great accompaniment and very authentic. The other fella had some kind of sorbet which he again described as 'OK'. Not getting much there.

                                                                                                Overall, the meal was acceptable - but that's all. The damage was €97 which we rounded up to €110. I get a nasty feeling that each portion size was measured out by an accountant rather than a chef. I left feeling a bit disappointed as this place has shown me more in the past - hopefully it will again but my next bistro outing will be somehere different.

                                                                                                6/10
                                                                                                "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                                                  #49
                                                                                                  Restaurant Name: The Millstone

                                                                                                  Location: Dame St (opp Central Bank)

                                                                                                  Website: http://www.millstone.ie/

                                                                                                  Price Range: €€€

                                                                                                  Review:

                                                                                                  Went to The Millstone on Saturday night with a booking for 6 people at 8.30pm. I discovered on arrival that I had been here once before at Christmas time a few years back but had forgotten.

                                                                                                  Arrived a bit late at 8.50pm after a drink down the road & for the second time here our table was not ready. Last time we were waiting 30mins (during the Christmas rush) this time we waited at the bar for about 15 mins. However, 6 people standing at the bar (no room for seats) is not really ideal as there isn't much room & while not too bad for us as we had our drinks (full bar available) it couldn't be too comfortable for the few tables around us nor for the staff trying to manouver around us.

                                                                                                  The restaurant is made up of a narrowish downstairs with a mezzanine floor above. Space is quite tight but there is a good atmosphere throughout also with the addition of a singer & his guitar doing jazzy/swing music but a the right level which is replaced by more of the same piped when he finishes (again at the right level). We were upstairs on the mezzanine which was fine if a bit tight but I would imagine the best area for a group although the window seats downstairs would probably be the prime seats for a smaller booking. The whole building inside has a Georgian / retro feel to it with the decor.

                                                                                                  They have an "Irish Set Menu" which is essentially their value menu with an option of 2/3 courses for €17.95/€22.95 with Sides added on. This isnt available after 7pm on Friday/Saturday.

                                                                                                  A we were chatting & running late we decided to share starters working off the "A La Carte" menu. 5 of us shared two of the Roast Garlic Pesto Bread which comes with semi dried tomato, mozzarella, pesto & parmesan in 3 round portions which was a boring choice but nice. One had the pate which I tried and have to say thought it not very good. I normally like my pate but this wasn't to my taste, wasn't enough toast supplied and the texture was equivilant to something given to mans best friend.

                                                                                                  Main courses were top notch it has to be said. Fillet, Rib-eye & t-Bone were all had. All cooked to perfection as instructed and a good choice of sides & sauces. Although not an expert, I would say as good as most if not all speciality steakhouses around. Also ordered were the Roast Baby Chicken, Baked Salmon & a Cajun Chicken pizza which again were all enjoyed and deemed excellent. I believe The Millstone is a sister restaurant to Millers Pizza Kitchen on Baggot Street, hence the good choice of Pizzas on the menu.

                                                                                                  Wine list is a little limited but augmented with a good selection of beers & cocktails. Only myself & the missus were drinking vino so I went with the Australian Shiraz as it seemed to be the most to my liking (full body) & it went down well with 2 bottles had with a bit of help from others after tasting it. Estrellas beer (for coeliacs) & some G&T's for the women were also had & finished off with a round of cocktails (€8) from a choice of about 10 on the cocktail menu. Deserts were skipped I'm afraid.

                                                                                                  We were last to leave (about 12.45am) after another 3 joined us for a drink but were never rushed & service was very good. Had a brief chat with the owner who sat with us for about 5 mins and he did mention about trying to change the place around a bit to accomodate a better bar/waiting area as it probably is needed.

                                                                                                  All in all I would recommend The Millstone for a visit. Certainly a good place for a group but also pulls off being a decent spot for a couple to visit aswell unless its a seriously romantic date!

                                                                                                  7.5/10
                                                                                                  Last edited by Dice75; 05-03-12, 12:06.

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                                                                                                    #50
                                                                                                    Restaurant Name: Chapter One – chef’s table

                                                                                                    Location: Parnell Square, Dublin 1

                                                                                                    Website: http://www.chapteronerestaurant.com/

                                                                                                    Price Range: €€€€€

                                                                                                    Chapter One’s reputation for fine dining (using local and seasonal produce) precedes it. Chef and co-owner Ross Lewis recently cooked for the Queen when she visited Ireland and on Saturday night the Financial Times food critic (writing in the How To Spend It section on Saturdays as The Reconnoisseur I believe) was in and ratcheted up the stress levels in the kitchen somewhat, having dined in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud for lunch.

                                                                                                    The reason I know this is myself and five others were sat in the kitchen, at the chef’s table, for the five-hour, eight-course dining extravaganza ranking as one of the more interesting dining experiences I’ve had.

                                                                                                    Of course the food is top class (I’ll run through the menu below) and took centre stage but was augmented hugely by the experience of sitting and watching a finely tuned professional kitchen do what it does best on a busy Saturday night.

                                                                                                    Around 7 p.m. we started with a drink in the bar and were then shown in to the table situated in the corner of the kitchen, partially shielded by glass but well exposed to the action.

                                                                                                    We were offered a glass of champagne followed by a palate cleansing non-alcoholic cocktail comprising mainly elderflower and ginger with lemon grass and some leaves which did exactly what it was supposed to.

                                                                                                    The six courses (eight with a pre-dessert treat and tea/petit fours - €85 - as well as matched wine with each course - €40) were served with informal efficiency and informative explanation while the timing and rhythm/flow of the meal was impressive.

                                                                                                    The menu was:

                                                                                                    Pickled carrot with caper sprouts and green raisins in Sauternes, shallot brown butter and onion bread – sharp, piquant flavours giving the palate a gentle kick up the backside in anticipation of what was to follow. Lovely presentation.

                                                                                                    *****

                                                                                                    Cured Clare island organic salmon, compressed apple and mandarin vinaigrette, smoked pear and mustard puree – light and fruity this left everyone wanting more and served to increase the anticipation.

                                                                                                    *****

                                                                                                    Terrine of foie gras, madeira and smoked duck, icewine verjus, apple and watercress salad – two people were not fois gras eaters and there was no problem switching to a ravioli with 36 month old parmesan. Indeed we were informed at the start that if anyone didn’t eat anything on the menu there’d be no problem changing it. Classy. The fois gras was lovely – the dense texture offset by the sweetness of the Madeira and apple and I polished off half of someone else’s after he decided he’d have enough.

                                                                                                    *****

                                                                                                    Hand dived scallops, with vermouth sauce, Gubbeen smoked bacon and potato mousseline – a real highlight. Simple and familiar flavours and textures but taken to another level with lots of ‘wow’-ing around the table. Take a bow chef.

                                                                                                    *****

                                                                                                    Rarebreed pork plate with parsley creamed barley and carrots, black pudding, pickled thistle and smoked aioli – often this course is venison. Glad it wasn’t this time as I had venison sausages for dinner and lunch a couple of times during the week. This was the ‘main’ course I suppose. The most substantial at any rate. Three types of pork, my fav being pork cheek (can’t remember the other two sadly). Not a single morsel was left by anyone and barely a word spoken during eating. Wish I could cook this at home. Taking something not-so-cool and turning it into something this cool is why Ross Lewis has a Michelin star.

                                                                                                    *****

                                                                                                    Valrhona 'Guajana 70%, chocolate souffle, passionfruit ice-cream – not a great fan of souffle’s usually but hey, its chocolate. The waiter suggested dropping the ice cream into the hot centre of the soufflé which worked wonderfully.

                                                                                                    *****
                                                                                                    Tea/Coffee & Petit Fours – Irish coffee made with care from a brass plate in front of us (including caramelizing the brown sugar) and home made chocolate. Fantastic way to finish.

                                                                                                    So that was the food and about half the story. The other half, the kitchen experience, is just as interesting.

                                                                                                    A few minutes after we’d been seated and tucking into our champagne Ross Lewis came over and introduced himself to us individually, shaking each persons hand. He cracked a few jokes and explained that he’d be popping in a few times over the course of the evening to check we were OK and would explain the workings of the kitchen if we liked.

                                                                                                    Our first impression was one of calm before storm. Pre-theatre had just finished, staff were taking a breather and chatting but soon a quiet industry began to unfold.

                                                                                                    The place exuded organization with Lewis stalking around chatting to people, tasting things, and encouraging a general air of focus. He clearly has the place under total control and everyone knew what they were doing.

                                                                                                    The FT critic came in and chatted with him for about 10 mins, things were starting to get a little busier and noiser now and when it came to getting the critic’s food out Lewis himself took charge and dressed the plate while the rest of the kitchen stood around and watched – almost in awe. Pretty interesting to observe.

                                                                                                    He popped into us on half a dozen occasions or more, explained dishes and taking questions and, on one occasion, insisting that one of our party finish his story first so he could hear how it ended. He was refreshingly forthright and relaxed.

                                                                                                    He talked about the critic and why he was there (“because I cooked for the Queen” – who he didn’t get to meet he informed us), the challenges of running a restaurant during the recession (one of our party was an accountant – we learned the margin of a restaurant is between 6 and 10 percent depending on how efficient it is and that he spends €5k per month EVERY month on running repairs to the place).

                                                                                                    We asked about where he gets inspiration for dishes and he told us all about how the kitchen was organized.

                                                                                                    The sommelier had the night off but our main waiter did a great job of explaining the well-matched wines (€40 for six tasting glasses), and if Lewis wasn’t available to explain a course another of the senior chefs popped in and talked us through the dish).

                                                                                                    So, in all it was a fascinating and rewarding experience and one I’d recommend. The food was sublime, the service professional yet easy-going, and, perhaps most importantly, we often forgot we were in a busy working kitchen and enjoyed our own company immensely. The measure of a great restaurant.

                                                                                                    9/10 (one point docked for not enough wine for the wine lovers at the table - luckily there were a couple of the party that were just wine 'tasters' so i had theirs as well!)

                                                                                                    Next stop an eight-course tasting menu in The Old Convent in a couple of weeks.
                                                                                                    Last edited by BennyHiFi; 05-03-12, 21:47.

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                                                                                                      #51
                                                                                                      BennyHiFi - that sounds class. I am keen to try the Old Convent myself.

                                                                                                      How many are needed in order to book the chefs table? I am in for an IPB night out at the Chefs Table!

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                                                                                                        #52
                                                                                                        Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                                                                                                        BennyHiFi - that sounds class. I am keen to try the Old Convent myself.

                                                                                                        How many are needed in order to book the chefs table? I am in for an IPB night out at the Chefs Table!
                                                                                                        I think six is the minimum but they may be able to take eight.

                                                                                                        Off to The Old Convent with the missus on a special deal she found around Christmas time - no TV or internet there so looking forward to that almost as much as the meal!

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                                                                                                          #53
                                                                                                          Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                                                                                                          BennyHiFi - that sounds class. I am keen to try the Old Convent myself.

                                                                                                          How many are needed in order to book the chefs table? I am in for an IPB night out at the Chefs Table!
                                                                                                          In for this too!

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                                                                                                            #54
                                                                                                            Originally posted by ionapaul View Post
                                                                                                            In for this too!
                                                                                                            maybe we should have the next home game there?

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                                                                                                              #55
                                                                                                              Originally posted by ionapaul View Post
                                                                                                              In for this too!
                                                                                                              100% in!

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                                                                                                                #56
                                                                                                                Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                                                                                                                BennyHiFi - that sounds class. I am keen to try the Old Convent myself.

                                                                                                                How many are needed in order to book the chefs table? I am in for an IPB night out at the Chefs Table!
                                                                                                                +1

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                                                                                                                  #57
                                                                                                                  Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                                                                                                                  maybe we should have the next home game there?
                                                                                                                  I'm free to deal that one.

                                                                                                                  Eating at FXB Pembroke street Thursday so I'll throw up a couple of sentences about it Friday (probably).

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                                                                                                                    #58
                                                                                                                    Restaurant Name:Bijou

                                                                                                                    Location:46/47 Highfield Rd. Rathgar, D6

                                                                                                                    Website:www.bijourathgar.ie

                                                                                                                    Price Range: €€€ ??

                                                                                                                    Review: Not much of a foodie but bear with me.Been here a couple of times for lunch but had never been here for dinner. Friends who are off to Canada decided to bring me and GF here to say thanks for helping him get in contact with the guy who gave him a job, and to say goodbye. We were a bit early for the reserveration so we were brought upstairs by Maitre D to the cocktail bar, and given complimentary Cava..mate knows the Maitre D.. might be only because of this , but nice gesture all the same. Chilled out ambience with good music. Had a nice heated terrace with comfy seating and blankets for smokers.

                                                                                                                    Brought down when table was ready. Table setting and decor are impressive and lighting is perfect for the space. Nice atmosphere and was very busy but really didn't feel like it. Waitress took drink order and gave us plenty of time to make our decision and was very helpful throughout with our selections and requests. A selection of breads were produced. Most impressive was a tomato and fennel seed one.

                                                                                                                    For starts I ordered the salmon and haddock fishcake, the fish itself was delicious and potato/cake was crunchy where you want it to be, and soft and buttery everywhere else. It was served with a zesty chilli dip which complemented the fish well. Perfection. She had the ceaser salad which I suppose you can't get too wrong,, but she said was it very tasty especially the crunchy garlic croutons, which she wished there were a few more of.

                                                                                                                    For main I had the pork belly, black pudding mash and a scallop, pork was done just right... juicey, seasoned well with a little glaze and nearly melted in the mouth, black pudding mash was a bit disappointing as the pudding used in the mash wasn't of high quality IMO...not much spice, flavor etc..,wouldn't be mad on scallops but was fine. She has salmon with beetroot salad, gratin, and puree. Salmon was a little over done as requested (don't ask), she couldn't have been happier, really impressed with the presentation of the dish as well. Various types of beetroot were impressive in taste and had a taste myself as I love beetroot.

                                                                                                                    Desert wouldn't really be my thing but we both had the apple and plum crumble and I just had ordinary cream instead of creme chantilly. Like something your mam would make, only better. As someone who wouldn't be a sweet lover, had to say the crumble was exactly as it should be and was packed with delicious fruit.

                                                                                                                    Service was of a very high standard, exactly what you want. She was always there when needed and never imposed on the meal when not.

                                                                                                                    Drank cava the whole night, (pretending like we were posh for the night) due to an excessive amount of this I can't remember the name but came in a black bottle and had a good citrus flavor, you'd really notice that after a couple of bottles

                                                                                                                    Don't know how much it all cost him including coffees, drinks etc... but checking the prices on the website it seems very reasonable considering the quality of the service and food on offer.

                                                                                                                    8.5/10
                                                                                                                    Jayzus, Sheila! I forgot me feckin' trousers

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                                                                                                                      #59
                                                                                                                      Good review - really like Bijou, will have to go back soon on the back of your recommendation!

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                                                                                                                        #60
                                                                                                                        Originally posted by PokerPiper View Post
                                                                                                                        +1
                                                                                                                        +1
                                                                                                                        Low fee Euro/UK money transfer, 1st transfer free through my referral
                                                                                                                        https://transferwise.com/u/bfa0e

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